01/04/2012 – Outi Tervo was on the bow, crouching from the knifing wind, with another scientist, Kristin Westdal. A hydrophone 30 feet under water connected to headphones beneath Tervo’s fur-trimmed parka. The motors were still, the frigid water quiet but for the snaps and whistles of the drifting sea ice and the eerie chatter of bearded seals. For six days they had heard nothing else but silence.
Then . . . a low moan.
Tervo was not sure. “I didn’t know if I was just wishing I heard it. Kristin was staring into my eyes. She could see I was excited. I gave her the headphones, and I could see her eyes light up. ”